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Based on the examples and information in Bruce Watson’s Freedom Summer, what changes took place in the United States as a result of the Freedom Summer of 1964?

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Based on the examples and information in Bruce Watson’s Freedom Summer, what changes took place in the United States as a result of the Freedom Summer of 1964?

Category: Essay Outline

Subcategory: History

Level: College

Pages: 4

Words: 1100

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Based on the examples and information in Bruce Watson’s Freedom Summer, what changes took place in the United States as a result of the Freedom Summer of 1964?
Freedom summer was a unique venture both for its bravery and violence. It was launched in the US in 1964, with the aim of aim registering African-American voters in Mississippi. This was done after Africans were denied to vote in the region. This led to the establishment of freedom houses, schools, and community centers from small towns to aid the population towards voting. The campaign was organized by COFO, which was a coalition of the four major rights organizations.
Freedom summer became a reality after earlier works by other African-Americans who stayed in Mississippi. Earlier on in the year 1963, SNCC had planned a mock titled Freedom Vote, which was to ensure the desire of most blacks from Mississippi to vote. The procedure of voting required all the black people to fill a well-written questionnaire with 21 questions, and that was to be checked by the registrar who was white. The volunteers set up polling stations in businesses places and churches across the region. After the process of registration, all the voters were required to make choices of the candidates they desired in the coming year’s election. The volunteers worked together with other civil rights workers together with students to ensure the success of the mock election where thousands of blacks voted.
The author presents chronicled events of how the voting process was planned by the organizers. He contends that most students from Northern Universities had started integrating public accommodations where adults were registered for purposes of voting. This was done in line with the overall organization of a local network from the local leadership in Mississippi. The SNCC people who were mandated to do the recruitment were able to interview many people who were to stand and vote while others were those that were to stand as leaders. There were more than 1,000 people from outside Mississippi who joined those in Mississippi in the voting process. Most of them were youths who were from the northern side of the region while others were of Jewish origin. The volunteers undertook orientations within the weeks to voting. The organizers particularly focused their energies in Mississippi because it had minimal number of African-American voters who were registered from the region.
The white residents from Mississippi resented the outsiders who were ready to join hands in the voting process. The locals became hostile to the volunteers, and most media houses referred to them as unwashed trash. Their presence led to Molotov cocktails, shootings and harassment. Local governments and the state fought hard to stop the progress of the project by spying, murdering and many other forms of intimidation to make them surrender from the project. They desired the blacks to stop the process of voting and leave the situation as it was before.
Over the next weeks, there were more arrests, burning of churches and different Freedom Summer workers beaten. Black homes were burned down while various supporters of the project were either killed or critically wounded. Attacks were seen on the volunteers immediately the campaigns began in the region. It was ironical because after different people were reported missing the FBI did not assist them in finding them as they cited the chaos as the local business. Later an investigation was ordered, and the bodies of most of the volunteer members were found in swamps. This prompted the establishment of an FB branch in Mississippi, which was given the mandate of ensuring peace and order among the civilians.
The Mississippi Democratic Party was later blocked, and a new party called MFDP, which was a rival born. It intended to gain recognition and support of the people who were on with the project. The leaders of the party were later sent to national convention the same year to make various changes that were desirable for success. After the white forces were seen as being determined to stop the process of ensuring the overall success of the project, members of MFDP changed tact and started working towards building their party. The party had a wider support from most delegates of the convention. Johnson Lyndon feared that he was going to lose the support of the people and endeavored to make sure that MFDP was not able to make changes to the regulars. The national press was however in the forefront in condemning all the acts that were seen because of the introduction of the project.
There was an introduction of a network of summer schools which were referred to as Freedom Schools, which were not funded properly. The schools were also segregated because they only had black students. During this period, 3,500 students were able to attend these schools that provided lessons on black history and the rights that are stipulated in the constitution. The schools were held in churches, under trees and different porches in the region. The teachers were college students who had information on the current happenings and were determined to stop the segregation. The students had an enthusiasm to learn more with the real desire of honesty and participation. All the girls were given the opportunity to attend the schools out of their free will.
The project never succeeded in increasing the number of registered voters as required. It, however, had a significant impact on the issues on civil rights and the constitution. The project was vital as it broke the levels of segregation and repression among the black people. Before the project began, the media had little interest on the levels of persecution that were going on among the black voters from the southern regions. The Freedom Summer redefined the lives of the blacks and the overall desire to participate in the national processes of development.
Most activists were of the opinion that the media came to their attention because of the killings of different white students in the northern regions. Most people also felt that the white students were arrogant towards the black people and looked down upon them because of their skin color. Various activist joined hands through SNCC and COFO to ensure the success of their mission that was never to be accomplished. Some of the people who were in the fore front during the Freedom Summer period were Savio Mario and Ganz Marshal; they fought hard and almost subdued their opponents. However, Mississippi started making progress, and the levels of segregation were low more so in the rural regions. This made the passing of the voting act possible in 1965. The act allowed registration and voting rights to various regions that had registered few numbers, making it a national undertaking, even though, most people lost their lives.
Works Cited
Watson Bruce. “Freedom Summer: The Savage Season of 1964 That Made Mississippi Burn and Made America a Democracy 2011: 227. Print.

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